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Pictures from the Philippines

Jan 18, 2014

Last November Darla and I went to the Philippines on a mission trip. We arrived in Manila on November 6, 2013 and then flew to Davao City on the southern coast of Mindanao the next evening. We flew over super-typhoon Haiyan just as it was starting to hit the central islands of the country.

Our flight left Manila at 9:00 p.m. November 7, and the typhoon hit shore a few hours later at 4:40 a.m. November 8. The first thing we did was attend a wedding in Davao the same day that the typhoon hit. Pastor Felipe’s younger daughter was marrying a young man named Philip, who is an engineer on a ship, helping keep its engines running.

Here is a poster of the newlyweds that they posted.


The next day we drove to Maitum, where they had a reception at the chapel. Here is the young couple dancing together.


On the following Monday the new school year started. Below is a picture of the elementary school in Maitum, as they gather each morning to recite the Bible verses that they have learned, then to sing praises to God, and finally to sing the national anthem and pledge of allegiance.


Nearby we went to the Town where we did a little spiritual warfare to reclaim the land from the dragon spirit that oversees the Town Hall.


The next day we drove to Lake Sebu for the Pastors Conference November 13, 14. Here is the welcome sign for us:


As we arrived late in the afternoon, we were taken to a resort on the lake, where we had our evening meal. It was on a floating platform about 50 feet offshore. We ordered our meals, and the food then came to us by a floating raft that moved by pulling the ropes. While we waited for the food to be prepared, we were entertained by some dancers dressed in their colorful traditional tribal garb.


Then we settled into our room at the Bed and Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner. They overfed us greatly with their hospitality, but we really enjoyed the good food. Darla wasn’t so used to having rice at every meal, including breakfast, but the variety of food turned each meal into a veritable feast.


Darla was impressed with the “comfort room,” which was a single room for the shower and commode, which worked well through a system of water buckets and pails for flushing. (Bring your own toilet paper, if you feel you need it.)


The church where we had the conference was simple but adequate.


It had a tin roof which was very loud when it rained, making it nearly impossible to hear, even with the microphone turned up. But fortunately, the rain only came once and lasted about 20 minutes. The side walls of the church were woven bamboo to allow air flow.


A couple of dogs meandered around as they wished. Once while I was speaking, a dog shamelessly and freely peed on the floor in front of us. No one seemed to be distracted by this, nor did I even see it, as the pulpit blocked my view. Darla told me about it later, as she was sitting in the front seat of honor. We had a very “earthly” setting.

Here I am with my excellent interpreter, as I was teaching a session on the Principles of Intercession.


A group of 16 chartered a bus and drove for a day and half from the East side of Mindanao in order to attend the meetings. A few posed for this picture. Felipe and his wife are pictured on the right side.


While we were at Lake Sebu, Felipe took us to the nearby zipline that overlooked two waterfalls the fed into the lake.


We then crossed the river on the bridge to the zipline itself.


Then we were off to see the forest and ravine 600 feet below as well as the second waterfall which formed a beautiful rainbow that seemed to move along with us.


The meetings went very well, as I reported at the time. On November 15 we returned to Maitum. Here is a picture of Darla with Felipe and Eden in front of their house. The chapel is located to the right, and the school classrooms are behind it.


From there we drove to Gensan (General Santos City) and stayed the night in a hotel, so that we could get up early and fly back to Manila. Here is the waterfront view from the lobby at the hotel in Manila:


In Manila we had the pleasure of linking up with Norman and Cecile, who had also come to Manila. They were staying at the Shangri-la hotel and had actually made reservations for us as well. However, we were unable to coordinate with them earlier, so we stayed at a different hotel.

Nonetheless, after we settled into the hotel, they hired a taxi, picked us up, and brought us to their hotel for a visit.


The hotel lobby was lavishly decorated for Christmas, so we took pictures of ourselves in a sleigh.


The next day we flew home via Japan, where Darla couldn’t help but take one last picture of a “comfort room” at the Tokyo airport. As you can see, they had toilet paper, in order to give comfort to American travelers.


We arrived home safe and sound from our trip. Darla called it an “adventure.” It is difficult to really understand what it is like in other countries, especially developing countries, unless you see it personally.

We hope that you have enjoyed sharing these brief snapshots with us.

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Category: Trip Reports
Blog Author: Dr. Stephen Jones